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Redbridge fire commander: ‘We will still make emergency response times if cuts go ahead’

PUBLISHED: 10:42 28 January 2013 | UPDATED: 10:42 28 January 2013

Borough commander Steve Brown in front of the appliances

Borough commander Steve Brown in front of the appliances

Archant

Redbridge fire commander Steve Brown has said the brigade will still be able to get to Redbridge fires in target time despite planned cuts to stations bordering the borough.

Redbridge’s three fire stations look to be safe from the axe as swingeing cuts are planned for stations across London.

But proposed changes to fire stations surrounding the borough in Newham and Waltham Forest could mean extra work for firefighters at Ilford, Woodford and Hainault.

Mr Brown said: “I’m pleased that Hainault wasn’t chosen for closure but the changes will have a wide-ranging effect on the brigade.

“From Redbridge’s point of view there’s a minor increase in first and second response times of one and eight seconds respectively.

“But in my opinion, in the big scheme of things that’s going to have a minimal effect because we will still maintain our target response times.”

The number of fires is falling and Mr Brown hopes that will community fire safety awareness, work with landlords and tenants, home safety visits and co-operation with other emergency services, the trend will continue.

The government and Mayor of London have ordered a £28.8million budget cut to the London Fire Brigade over the next two years.

Chingford, Leyton and Leytonstone could each lose one of their two fire engines and 520 firefighters would need to go across the brigade, hopefully without compulsory redundancies.

The London Fire Authority rejected the closure plans on Monday but mayor Boris Johnson used his powers to overrule them.

A final decision is expected in June following public consultation.

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